Pizza Night

A Simple Meal With Endless Possibilities

I would like to share with you a quick, easy and cheap meal that has become a staple in our household.  Pizza night has become a dinner that we all look forward to, with an eight and six year old this isn’t something that can be stated very often.

Three simple ingredients is all it takes to make a meal, but the additional topping options are endless.  At its core, pizza is a vegetarian meal, and depending on the toppings that you choose it could stay that way, or become a meat lovers dream.

A hot pizza, and a movie makes this meal more of a party, and creates great, non-corona memories.

Ingredients per pizza

1 package – Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix

5 to 8 oz. – Canned Pizza Sauce

5 to 8 oz, – Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Additional toppings of your choice

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the pizza crust mix in a medium bowl with ½ cup of Hot (not boiling) water, until it forms a solid dough ball.
  3. Cover the bowl with the dough and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Flour your prep station and hands; press the dough into a 12” circle.
  5. Spread sauce over the dough, followed by cheese and your desired toppings.
  6. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through.

The combined ingredients cost of each pizza, minus the endless topping combinations that you can add to this recipe is about $3 per pizza.  Two pizzas easily feed our family of four for less than $10 total. It’s hard to beat that!

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Stepping Up Our Coffee Game

The French Press

There is no time like the present, stuck in the house, highly discouraged to travel from within the confines of our humble abode.  Forced to take time and pleasure in the small daily activities that we more often than not take for granted.

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As I stand in my kitchen listening to the drip coffee maker grumble and groan about its one responsibility, I am in no hurry to fill up my bamboo travel mug and run out the door.  I am instead, deep in thought contemplating the status of my coffee brewing situation.

“You know what, I’ve had enough, I’m doing it.”  I say out loud. “I’m doing it!” I yell up the stairs to my wife.

“Doing what?” she yells back.

I don’t answer, how is it possible that she is not in the same train of thought that I am in?  Confounding.

I am a thorough researcher when it comes to purchases.  This is in part because I don’t really like to buy things…ever.  So when I do decide to purchase something, I want it to be the right thing.  I had previously debated our coffee brewing situation in the past, and had previously researched the perfect combination of french press, hand grinder and decanter.  So my decision to finally go for it and upgrade the quality of my morning cup of Joe is not without precedence.

Decanter not pictured.

When looking into a french press, I kept coming back to the classic, the original, Bodum 1.5L Chambord Coffee Press.  It’s hard to beat the original, it has kept the same design since birth over a hundred years ago. How can you even compare with that?  Plus, it is glass and metal for the most part, I was a little disappointed that plastic was integrated into the design, and this did dissuade me a little, but not enough to ignore the clearly unrivaled reputation of the device.  It is the boss of the french press coffee mafia, no doubt about it.

Next was the grinder.  I had a couple stipulations for this, for one, I get up earlier than everyone else on work days, and if I have to grind some fresh coffee beans I don’t want it to sound like a cave full of bears are growling at each other in the kitchen inducing nightmares for the rest of the family.  Second, glass and metal are the materials that I am more comfortable bringing into my household. I don’t want a big plastic obstrocity judging me every time I pick it up. Third, research convinced me that an adjustable, ceramic, conical shaped grinder results in the highest quality coffee.  So now I have my Triple Tree Manual Ceramic Hand Grinder. It unfortunately has a small amount of plastic on the end of the handle, and a rubberized lid, but it’ll do.

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Lastly, once again thorough research led me to understand the need for an insulated decanter.  Even after the coffee is “pressed”, letting the brew sit with the coffee beans will lead to a bitter taste after a little time.  One option is to scoop out the beans as well as you can, not ideal. The other option is to pour out the brew into a decanter, bonus, an insulated one will allow you to have hot coffee for hours past initial brewing.  Hey, all of a sudden I have plenty of time to enjoy another cup of coffee halfway to lunch. The decanter is also a place where you can dare bask in the aesthetic as well. So, a visually pleasing accessory is on the checklist alongside the usual, metal/glass only prerequisite.  Large enough to hold an entire freshly brewed 1.5 liters of coffee is the only other requirement. Decision made, Upkoch Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee Carafe, it is.

Supplies in hand, a test run or two is required to attain the perfect cup of coffee.  Everyone’s tastes are different. Experimenting with coffee bean intensity, grind consistency, amount of grounds per brew and brewing time are all to be carefully considered. We have fine tuned our mix to our version of perfection.  We will continue to experiment with brands of coffee bean, but the basics are ironed out.  

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There is just something incredibly relaxing about that first steaming cup of coffee in the morning, mug in hand, looking out the sliding glass door into the world.  Even better yet, once the weather warms and the world returns to whatever its new version of normal is, sitting outside on the patio sipping a cup and listening to the birds chirp as the rest of the world wakes up before your eyes.

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Yogi Quotes

I don’t know if you have ever tried it but I have been drinking Yogi tea lately. They print motivational phrases on the little paper squares at the end of the tea string.  Every night I get to read a new one, now you can too:

-Give happiness and you will end up happy.

-Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world.

-Forgiveness is an act of consciousness.

-This life is a gift.

-Let your energy be used to build, not destroy.

-May this day be the day to lead us to peace, to happiness and to joy.

-Think seriously and think honestly.

-Love is the ultimate law of life.

Kindness is the light of life.

The essence of life is to communicate love.

-People who love are forgiving.

-What belongs to you shall come to you.

-In every moment of life, you should be what you ought to be.

-Spread the light; be the lighthouse.

-If we are happy, everybody looks up and shares our happiness.

-Love is to live for somebody, love is not to live with somebody.

-You must have self-respect; only then can you respect somebody.

-Be kind to others, but always be compassionate to yourself.

-Happiness is actually an art of living, which is in us.

-Our creative consciousness is not limited.

-Give love, get love.

-Let your heart speak to others hearts.

-Your strength is your own knowledge.

-We are born wise, we are born compete.

-The purpose of life is to know yourself and love yourself and trust yourself and be yourself.

-When the dawn of simplicity comes in life, complications leave.

-If you let yourself be successful, you shall be successful.

-Your potential self is infinite.

-Every beat of your heart is a rhythm of your soul.

I will add more quotes as I get them so be sure to check back. In the meantime, sit back with a cup of warm tea, relax and enjoy the moment.

The embedded link will bring you to the tea that I am referencing on Amazon.com – I am in no way endorsing any products or suggesting that you or anyone should buy anything…ever.

A Sunday Morning Tradition

Lazy Sundays are probably my favorite days, that is especially true here in Germany.  Unlike the States, most businesses still close on Sundays here. They also really enjoy their quiet, noise restrictions are in effect all day every day on Sundays.  Seriously, it is enforced by law if you get carried away. You are not allowed to mow your lawn, you shouldn’t be washing your car and be careful if you go for a drive, finding an open gas station could be a problem.

So plan on not making plans.

Enforced relaxation is something that can get down with.  So I start my Sundays with a tradition that will hopefully be passed down from my children to their own children one day.

PANCAKE SUNDAY!!

Pancakes are so simple, so quick, filling and a big time hygge food.  Plus they are so customizable, we have experimented with all kinds of combinations of add in ingredients like chocolate chips, blueberries, M&Ms, bananas, bacon, you name it.  Toppings, sauces, creams, jimmy’s (or sprinkles, whatever you call them), and don’t forget shapes. I typically mix my pancakes in a glass measuring cup, so that I can make all sorts of shapes with the batter.  We have done geometric shapes, letters, people, superheros, big and tiny circles, there are just so many options.

Hygge-lism has really taught us to enjoy these mornings even more, which I didn’t think was possible.  Our small minimal kitchen is easy to cook in, and that makes enjoying the process just as nice as the final product.  The smell of freshly brewing coffee, and the sound of pancake batter lightly sizzling on the skillet are both relaxing sensations.  I crack open the window behind the sink and a brisk fall air with all the smells of outdoors mingles with the kitchen aromas. Between flipping pancakes and mixing sugar into my cup of coffee, I check to see if the plants on our window sill need another splash of water.

A big plate of pancakes with syrup, a big glass of orange juice or a hot mug of steaming coffee and sometimes bacon, though we are trying to cut back.  Is there a better way to start a lazy Sunday?

The embedded link will bring you to the skillet that we have used for years – We are in no way endorsing any products or suggesting that you or anyone should buy anything…ever.

Flavors

Flavors and aromas are powerful.  They have the ability to instantly transport you back in time and immerse you into a memory that you thought was long forgotten.  Just thinking of one of those moments now I bet you can almost smell whatever was cooking in the oven at the time.

Hygge-lism has taught us to really enjoy the process of cooking, baking and just preparing food in general.  Filling our cozy home with the warm aromas of freshly baking chocolate chip cookies, or the sounds and smells of a stew bubbling in a crock pot is a universally Hygge sensation.  Sitting in a comfortable chair with a throw blanket, cradling a hot cup of coffee watching the snow fall outside is a moment that we could live in forever.

We are creating the memories that these aromas bring back to us for our children now, and along the way creating some new memories of our own.  

This page will be a collection of all our favorite flavors, perhaps they will turn out to be some of your favorites as well.